World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Who would want to be in Big Brother?

Martin Richardson
LONDON - Having watched the Big Brother launch yesterday, one major question occurred to me. Who would want to lock themselves up in a house with no televisions with the World Cup three weeks away. . ??

As I'm at the age when a lot of the people I know seem to be getting married, five of them this year, I'm proud of the way they have all managed to dodge the bullet in June and July.

Well all except one who is getting hitched the day of the third/fourth place play-off, a game in which, even if England are playing, most of the population will have little interest - anybody remember the 1990 game against Italy?(video link) Me neither.

I'm lucky in that my job provides me the mandate to clear the decks, shun all my friends and family and concentrate on giving my all to the World Cup - I'm sure you'd expect nothing less. Is there anything on the horizon that you are already planning a cunning excuse for?

A dear old aunt's birthday on the day England meet Sweden?
A big meeting at work when Argentina face Holland?
Surely not a PTA meeting when Angola play Iran?

Fussball's coming home

tom_geoghegan.gifLONDON - Just back from an evening spent with England fans dilligently learning some German footy phrases, courtesy of the Goethe Institute, who took over a pub in north London.

Organised by LondonEnglandfans, it was all a bit of fun - "red card" was "rote Karte" or alternatively "Jens Lehmann".
beer_bitte203.jpg
But more importantly, it underlined the determination of many supporters, and the hosts, to make this a fan-friendly tournament held in the best possible spirit.

Some fans present had 300 England games under their belts and for them, having witnessed the dark days of the 70s and 80s, this language class was further evidence of rehabilitation.

Of course, that didn't stop a few asking cheekily for the translation of "5-1" and "The ball did cross the line!"

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